England will look to build on their winning start in the UEFA Nations League when they take on Denmark at the Telia Parken on Tuesday night.
Matchday 2 of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League kicked off on Sunday and will continue till Tuesday. A number of high-profile fixtures will take place on the final day, one of which will come from the Telia Parken in Copenhagen, where Denmark will play hosts to England in a Group A2 encounter.
Denmark kicked off their campaign on a disappointing note, as they were handed a 2-0 defeat by Belgium earlier in the week. This has put them at the bottom of the group, level on points with Iceland in third place, but with a worse goal difference.
England, on the other hand, were made to work hard by the Icelanders on Saturday. But, a late penalty from Raheem Sterling ensured that the Three Lions just about managed to get across the finish line. Gareth Southgate’s men are second in the group, with leaders Belgium boasting a better goal difference.
In what will be the 20th encounter between Denmark and England, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Manager Kasper Hjulmand has a strong squad at his disposal, with just one uncapped player in the ranks – Christian Norgaard. In spite of the defeat to Belgium, the manager is unlikely to make a host of changes and stick with most of the players that started last time out.
There is no looking past Kasper Schmeichel in goal for Denmark. Captain Simon Kjaer started at the heart of the defence alongside Andreas Christensen in the previous game, but the latter could make way for Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen on Tuesday, while Henrik Dalsgaard replaces Daniel Wass at right-back. Robert Skov should continue as the left-back.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg should line up at the base of the midfield and will face a number of his new teammates from Tottenham. He will have support from Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Delaney, while Christian Eriksen, who is the most capped player in the current Denmark squad, will provide the creative impetus.
Yussuf Poulsen should continue on the right flank for the hosts, but there could be a change on the left, with Jacob Bruun Larsen in line to replace Martin Braithwaite. Kasper Dolberg started the last game as the centre-forward, but could be benched in favour of Andreas Cornelius.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Schmeichel; Dalsgaard, Kjaer, Zanka, Skov; Eriksen, Hojbjerg, Delaney; Poulsen, Cornelius, Larsen
Southgate will be without the services of full-back Kyle Walker who was sent off in the win against Iceland. The Three Lions come into the game with five uncapped players – Dean Henderson, Conor Coady, Jack Grealish, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Kalvin Phillips. Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden have been axed from the squad after breaching COVID guidelines.
Jordan Pickford started in goal last time out and wasn’t tested much and is likely to feature again, ahead of Henderson and Nick Pope.
Walker’s absence will pave the way for Trent Alexander-Arnold to start at right-back, while Joe Gomez and Eric Dier are likely to pair up at the heart of the defence again. With no natural left-back in the squad, Kieran Trippier started last time out, and the manager is likely to stick with him again over Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Kalvin Phillips will be hoping to make his debut, but is likely to have to wait, with Declan Rice set to start as the deepest of the three central midfielders for the Three Lions. James Ward-Prowse is expected to retain his place in the side, while Mason Mount should come in for the axed Foden.
Although Southgate has plenty of quality options in attack, he is likely to stick with the trio of Jadon Sancho, captain Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, who was England’s match-winner on Saturday.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Dier, Trippier; Ward-Prowse, Rice, Mount; Sancho, Kane, Sterling
- Tuesday’s contest will be the twentieth meeting between England and Denmark. As far as head-to-head record is concerned, England have the clear upper-hand, having won 12 of those fixtures, while losing just three (D4).
- The last meeting between the two teams happened in March 2014, in a friendly encounter, with England prevailing 1-0.
- England have lost just two of the last ten matches against Denmark (W6 D2). The Three Lions have kept six clean sheets during this run.
- Prior to the defeat to Belgium this week, Denmark were on a 15-game unbeaten streak dating back to September 2018.
- Gareth Southgate’s side have lost just one of their last eight fixtures – a 2-1 defeat to Czech Republic in the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers in October last year.
Player to Watch
After a brilliant 2019/20 campaign at club level with Borussia Dortmund, Jadon Sancho looked just as lively for England on Saturday. The 20-year-old caused the Iceland defence plenty of problems with his pace and directness and while he did not score or assist on the night, he did create a few dangerous chances.
With Denmark unlikely to sit as deep as the Icelanders did, the Borussia Dortmund man, who has been linked with a switch to Manchester United all summer, will have more space to run in behind and cause havoc in the final third. Expect another lively performance from the winger.
Denmark 0-1 England
Denmark’s 15-game unbeaten streak snapped against Belgium, but the fact that they had gone on such a long run without defeat shows that they can be a hard team to beat. However, England are a top side with so much quality, especially in the attacking third.
Unlike Iceland, Denmark might not sit deep and invite pressure. But this could end up playing into the hands of England, who can hurt the hosts with the pace of the likes of Sancho and Sterling, while the likes of Mason Greenwood and Jack Grealish can also change the game if introduced in the second half.
It will be a tightly-contested encounter, but the Three Lions’ strength in attack might just see them get another narrow win on Tuesday night.